Watch Flirting

"Here's to risks."
  • R
  • 1990
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 7.1  (6,331)

Flirting is a coming-of-age romantic drama film released in 1991 by Australian director John Duigan, following the success of his critically acclaimed film The Year My Voice Broke. The movie is set in the 1960s at an all-boys boarding school in New South Wales, Australia where the protagonist, Danny Embling (Noah Taylor), is sent after the death of his mother. There, he meets and falls in love with a Ugandan-English girl named Thandiwe Adjewa (Thandiwe Newton), who attends a nearby all-girls boarding school.

Danny is portrayed as a young, sensitive and intelligent student who struggles with the loss of his mother and the stress of attending a new school. Despite being an outcast and the subject of bullying, he befriends several schoolmates, including the tough-talking and wise-cracking Lombardo (Mark Mifsud), the verbose and socially awkward Shearer (Felix Nobis), and the charming yet mischievous Greggy (Josh Picker). Meanwhile, Thandiwe is a newcomer to Australia who is dealing with her own set of racial conflicts and cultural barriers. She has trouble fitting in with her peers at the girls' school, who see her as an exotic outsider.

As the two schools share a train ride, Danny and Thandiwe strike up a conversation that leads to an instant connection. Their friendship is further intensified when Thandiwe is punished by her school's headmistress and is sent to work in the school kitchen with Danny. This shared experience of being ostracized brings them closer, and they find solace in each other's company. As their friendship deepens, they start to explore their feelings for each other, but their love is threatened by racial prejudices and social conventions. Danny is white and Thandiwe is black, and their budding relationship raises eyebrows, leading to disapproval from their schoolmates, teachers, and families.

Meanwhile, Nicole Kidman plays the role of Nicola Radcliffe, a wealthy, manipulative, and self-absorbed classmate of Danny's, who sees him as her ticket out of her small-town life. She tries to seduce him and make him her own, but Danny's heart belongs to Thandiwe. Through their relationship, Danny and Thandiwe teach each other important lessons about love, trust, and resilience in the face of adversity.

The movie is primarily a character-driven story that highlights the complexities and nuances of adolescent relationships. It accurately portrays the awkwardness, confusion, and intensity of first love, and how it shapes a person's identity and worldview. The director portrays the characters' reasoning well, showing the nuances of their perspectives even when they conflicted, and never determined quite how they would react in certain situations for the viewer. As well as the main romantic focus of the story, the film explores issues such as racism, privilege, classism, and bullying in a candid and honest way that resonates with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Overall, Flirting is a touching and thought-provoking movie that combines romance, drama, and humor in a manner that is relatable and engaging. The performances of Noah Taylor, Thandiwe Newton, and Nicole Kidman are exemplary, and their chemistry on-screen is palpable. The story culminates in a satisfying and emotionally resonant conclusion that ties up all loose ends and leaves a lasting impression on the viewer. It is an excellent film that deserves to be watched and remembered long after its release.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (6,331)